With only one more show before The Great American Bash, there were still some matches to be announced. In terms of action, Cameron Grimes looked for some payback from Ari Sterling, Mercedes Martinez and Jake Atlas looked to defeat Xia Li and Boa, and Roderick Strong competed for the first time as a member of Diamond Mine. The main event saw Bronson Reed defend his North American Championship against Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Johnny Gargano got under Karrion Kross’ skin, and Adam Cole stood in the ring with Kyle O’Reilly ahead of their big match next week. First up, three teams battled it out to see who would be facing Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell for the Women’s Tag Team Championships at The Great American Bash.

Women’s Tag Team Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat Match: Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart vs Zoey Stark & Io Shirai vs Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez

Shirai and Moon tried to take out Gonzalez, but she hit a double clothesline. Moon hit Gonzalez with a codebreaker after stomping on Shirai. Blackheart tagged in as Kai and Stark brawled outside. Shirai hit a moonsault on Kai as Blackheart landed a Tope con Hilo on Kai, Shirai, and Gonzalez. Stark then flipped on top of them all as the show went into commercial. After the break, Gonzalez squashed Blackheart in the corner. She booted Shirai then gorilla slammed Blackheart. Shirai was able to take down Gonzalez after a stomp. Kai, Stark, and Moon all tagged in. Stark went off and hit a basement slide kick on Kai and Moon after a German suplex on Kai. Stark whipped Kai into the corner and hit a splash as Shirai did the same. Shirai hit the 619 followed by a missile dropkick. She went for the pin, but Blackheart broke it up. Shotzi connected with a standing enzuigiri on Shirai, followed by a reverse slingblade.

Moon and Blackheart worked together to beat down Shirai. Moon floored Shirai with a big forearm. Blackheart nearly pinned Kai with a double underhook suplex. All six women started to fight in the centre of the ring. Gonzalez slammed Moon and powerbombed Shotzi, as Kai hit a double stomp on Shotzi. Shirai then locked in a crossface on Kai, but she got out and kicked her in the jaw. Shirai hit a backbreaker on Kai then a moonsault on Gonzalez, who was leaning over Kai. Shotzi hit a senton on Gonzalez. Stark hit a spinning knee strike on Blackheart. Moon nailed Stark with an Eclipse. Kai connected on Moon with a GTK. Kai almost rolled up Shirai for the win, but only got a two-count. Shirai then pinned Kai following a moonsault for the victory.

Winners: Zoey Stark & Io Shirai Rating: 8.5/10

Roderick Strong W/ Malcolm Bivens, Tyler Rust, & Hideki Suzuki vs Asher Hale

Strong took down Hale with a headlock. He hit his signature backbreaker on Hale, then landed a series of strikes. Strong connected with a spinning back elbow and a jumping knee, then made Hale tap out. After the match, Bivens said Diamond Mine were open for business, and this was just the beginning.

Winner: Roderick Strong Rating: 4/10

Cameron Grimes vs Ari Sterling

Grimes landed a standing hurricanrana. He went to kick Sterling off the apron but got caught, allowing Sterling to connect with a moonsault. He dropped his knees into Grimes’ back off the ropes and continued to gain some more momentum. Sterling dived off the turnbuckle but couldn’t connect, allowing Grimes to hit Cave In for the victory. After the match, LA Knight walked out and mocked Grimes’ win. Knight said he saw nothing but a natural born loser. Grimes said if Knight wanted to talk about Ted DiBiase, he should walk into the ring. He challenged Knight to a match next week for the Million Dollar Championship. Knight declined and said he didn’t deserve it. However, he offered him a match but said if Grimes lost, he would become Knight’s butler.

Winner: Cameron Grimes Rating: 5/10

O’Reilly And Cole Come Face To Face

Kyle O’Reilly headed to the ring and said he wanted to fight dudes that made him a better fighter. He said he proved to the world after beating Cole he could one day be NXT Champion, but Cole refuses to see it. He called Cole to the ring, and Bay Bay walked out. Before he got to the ring, Samoa Joe headed out with a bunch of officials. Joe said he was there to ensure none of the nasty events from last week continued tonight. Cole walked to the ring anyway and said O’Reilly wanted to be in his shoes. Cole said O’Reilly was obsessed with him.

O’Reilly unsurprisingly disagreed. Cole said O’Reilly was nothing without Adam Cole, and nobody would even be talking about O’Reilly if it wasn’t for him. He said he was solely responsible for every ounce of success O’Reilly ever had, and he carried him on his back whilst in Undisputed Era. Everyone knew it, even his wife knows it. O’Reilly got angry and said he was ashamed about being in UE and ever being associated with Cole. They started to fight each other. O’Reilly locked in a heel hook. Cole asked Joe to get him off, but Joe walked off. Security eventually walked in to stop O’Reilly.

Jake Atlas & Mercedes Martinez vs Boa & Xia Li W/ Mei Ling

Before the match, Tian Sha appeared in a promo where they talked about how they were going to destroy Atlas and Martinez. All four brawled as the bell rang. Atlas and Boa started things off. The women tagged in, and Li kicked Martinez in the jaw, then delivered a forearm in the corner. She stomped on Martinez’s stomach and went for a suplex, but Martinez almost rolled her up for a pin. Martinez landed a back body drop as the show went to commercial.

After the break, Boa had Atlas in a headlock. Martinez booted Li, then landed a double underhook suplex off the top turnbuckle. Atlas and Martinez took out Boa. On the ramp, Mei Ling got to her feet as Martinez walked up to her. Li attacked Martinez from behind and walked her back into the ring. She landed a suplex, followed by a roundhouse kick, but Martinez got a foot on the rope. The referee called an end to the match as Martinez was out of it.

Winners: Xia Li & Boa Rating: 6/10

NXT North American Championship Match: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott W/ Hit Row vs Bronson Reed (C)

Reed took an early advantage by wearing down Swerve with a headlock. Reed swatting Swerve out of the air, then dropped him with a hanging military press. Reed whipped Swerve into the turnbuckle, then splashed him after pulling him off the ropes. Both men traded blows on the apron. Swerve tried to powerbomb Reed off the apron but got squashed with a banzai drop as the show went into commercial. After the break, Swerve had Reed in a headlock. Swerve managed to land a German suplex on Reed, but only got a two count. Reed threw Swerve off his shoulders into the mat, but he got up and connected with a flatliner.

Reed hit a clothesline on Swerve, but he responded with a dropkick. Reed planted Swerve with a Samoan drop and hit a flurry of strikes. Reed squashed Swerve in the corner, then ran into him and hit a standing senton. With the referee distracted, Adonis took Reed out of the apron. Reed snapped and launched Top Dolla into the barricades, followed by Adonis. Reed headed back into the ring but got caught with a House Call and a 450 splash, allowing Swerve to pick up the win and become the new North American Champion.

Winner: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Rating: 7.5/10

What Else Went Down

– Karrion Kross and Scarlett were backstage when Johnny Gargano attacked him. Kross headed to the ring and said he was willing to die by the sword he lived by, and asked if Gargano was willing to do the same. He dared Gargano to head to the ring. Gargano walked out and told Kross it was his world Kross was standing in. Theory attacked Kross from behind, but the NXT Champion was able to take advantage. He landed a Doomsday Saito on Gargano, then launched him into the barricades outside. Kross picked up the steel steps, but officials stopped him. Gargano then superkicked him. Samoa Joe walked out and sent Kross to the back. Backstage, Gargano and Theory headed off in their car. Later on, as Kross and Scarlett were getting in their car, Theory and Gargano attacked Kross. Gargano got choked out by Kross on the parking lot floor. He then sent Theory into the garage door and drove off. Samoa Joe picked up Gargano and said he’d gone too far.

– The NXT Breakout Tournament was announced to return in two weeks. Bronson Reed was being interviewed and asked about the tournament as he was one of the competitors. Hit Row interrupted him. Swerve said he wasn’t sure how Reed ended up as North American Champion. Swerve asked Reed to put it on the line tonight against him.

– The battery charger vignette aired, starting off at 61%.

– Stark and Shirai were being congratulated by McKenzie Mitchell backstage. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell walked out and said they weren’t even friends. Stark said they had mutual respect, and that’s all they needed. LeRae called Shirai a sore loser. Shirai said next week they become champions.

– Thatcher and Ciampa walked out, followed by MSK. They sat in the ring and faced each other. Ciampa said the difference between them was they made it look good. He said Thatcher hasn’t held gold yet, and he was hungry. “Toothless Timmy” was motivated, and there was no man alive that elevates a title quite like Ciampa. They all stood up as Lee said he respected Ciampa and Thatcher, whilst Carter said they should respect them. Carter said he was here to remind them they were the challengers. Lee said MSK would show them why they’re NXT Tag Team Champions. MSK slapped them. Ciampa said tonight, they get a free one. Next week, they would take their pride and their titles.

– Mitchell interviewed Regal backstage and talked about The Great American Bash and the NXT Breakout Tournament. Sarray walked in and asked for a match with Toni Storm. Regal said he would consider it.

After The Bell

This week’s NXT started off with a superb match between three excellent women’s tag teams. I’m happy for Zoey Stark as she’s been great since first debuting. The Way are hot right now, and I can’t see LeRae and Hartwell losing, but it should still be a fun match regardless. Bronson Reed and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott had a good match as well. Gutted for Reed, but NXT does like to capitalise on the momentum, and nobody is hotter than Hit Row right now.

As for the other matches, they were fairly bland, but it was more about what they represented. Diamond Mine are looking to be dominant, and Strong certainly showed that. Cameron Grimes wrestled for a bit of payback against Sterling, but it was more about setting the scene for his match with LA Knight at The Great American Bash. The mixed tag match wasn’t too bad, but the ending was weird. I genuinely thought Martinez had been knocked out, but it was more about building Xia Li as a badass. Please, can we see Mei Ling actually do something? It’s about time she stepped in the ring, and Martinez will be a good opponent for her.

The face-off between O’Reilly and Cole was superb once again. Whenever they’re on the mic together, they give it everything. Cole bringing O’Reilly’s wife into it made it even more personal than before. The match should be excellent, but I feel if Cole loses, that’s his time in NXT done. As for Karrion Kross and Johnny Gargano’s business, I thought we’d get a match announcement for next Tuesday. There’s still a spot open for one more match, so I wonder if it’ll get announced over the next few days.

Star of the Show: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Overall Rating: 7/10

The Great American Bash Final Card

  • NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark vs Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell (C)
  • NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs MSK (C)
  • Million Dollar Championship Match: Cameron Grimes vs LA Knight (C)
  • Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly

All images and videos courtesy of WWE

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